Thursday, May 26, 2016

THE TRUTH ABOUT TRUMP by Michael D’Antonio

No one in current memory grabs the attention of Donald Trump. Using lessons gleaned from Muhammad Ali, Donald is the “verbal jab” equivalent: floating like a butterfly, stinging like a bee. In THE TRUTH ABOUT TRUMP author Michael D’Antonio details the history of the man from birth, including his father’s story, his influences, his rise to power, his women, his love of sports (particularly boxing and wrestling), and the Art of the Deal. D’Antonio, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, spares nothing in his examination of Trump’s empire. As such, it is a must read (or must hear) for anyone considering voting for him or not. Echoing studies in psychology quoted in another new book THE POWER PARADOX, D’Antonio endeavors to explain how we came to this point, where a proud, self-proclaimed narcissist is running (and dominating) as a Presidential candidate. Trump is an enigma to many, saying whatever it takes to grab headlines. But when listeners hear the history and the mindset, it all begins to fall into focus. Trump views public life as a struggle for dominance and control, and for “winning” against opponents (with everyone a potential foe.) When someone throws a punch, he punches back, just like a fighter in the ring. There is no “right” or “wrong,” it’s just “business.” On the many occasions where he has contradicted himself, that’s all part of the game. For example, he once said about Bill Clinton during his administration, “talk about scandals with women, if I ever ran for office, I’d have him beat there.” Yet he recently criticized Bill for being a philanderer. “The rich,” says Dachner Keltner in The Power Paradox, “invariably assign blame to others while they themselves feel no guilt for committing the same things.” It is also a trait of the narcissist to refer to themselves in the third person, as when a basketball player like Lebron James (quoted in the audiobook “The Narcissist Next Door”) says, “You know, I wanted to do what was best for Lebron James, and whatever Lebron James has to do to make him happy.” (‘Him?’ He’s speaking!) Trump has done this too, frequently on stage, besides liking the title “The Donald.” Does Trump really care about his voters? Just as voters, says D’Antonio. People are tools to achieve success, and you do “whatever it takes.” It’s not about love, it’s just business. Personally, Trump (and other very rich people) feel superior to their underlings, and refer to their blue blood roots (as Trump has done) to imply that they are racially and intellectually above the riff raff. (Ironic, that many of Trump’s supporters are NASCAR fans, 95% of which vote Republican and don’t read non-fiction books.) Obviously this is a controversial book with stats that many will dispute. But Trump disputes most science, including global warming, since it has implications to business profits and pollution. Who is right? That’s for you to decide. D’Antonio ends the book by genuinely praising Trump for his accomplishments, yet also saying that in a society and culture that values wealth and fame, he is what we deserve (following the famous quote, “voters get what they deserve.”) He notes that no one, not even many far more wealthy than he, has been able to capitalize on his fortune and fame as has Trump. Enigma, because although he is fair and rewarding to those he perceives on his side, cross him or join the “opposing team” and he will do or say anything to defeat and humiliate you. Welcome to the sport of politics. It’s a winner-take-all cage fight to the death. Audiobook is narrated by Eric Pollins, a voiceover artist and TV/Movie actor whose tone is always spot-on. Related audiobooks to hear on the psychology of power related to Trump are SUCCESS AND LUCK, and MADNESS UNDER THE ROYAL PALMS, reviewed at this site.

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